The joke about pastors is they only work an hour on Sunday. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I work about 55 hours every week, and that's not an exaggeration. I produce two fresh, new from scratch sermons a week, a scratch midweek Bible study and a Sunday school lesson that comes right out of the ol' Bible. I'm not bragging, I'm just sayin'. All of that is between hospital visits, counseling, too many meetings that should have been emails, blah, blah, blah.

There was a break in the storm last week (God is good), and I had an afternoon that was a little lighter than normal, so I slipped out of the office late in the day and made my way to the golf course down the road (pastor's play for free).

I hit the drive-through at McDonald's to grab a Big Mac (without lettuce) before I walked a quick nine. As I sat in the Mini Cooper convertible (top was down and I was getting my daily dose of Vitamin D) eating my burger, I saw a "homeless couple" with not one but three dogs. They were holding up a sign that said, "Anything helps." I am super compassionate, and I have a bleeding heart, but I am also discerning and I thought I'm gainfully employed and out of debt and I can't afford to feed three dogs, so there was no donation from this old, tired and sometimes too cynical of a pastor.

But … as I sat there judging these people I choked on my next to the last bite of Big Mac. As I was trying to cough it out my life flashed before my eyes and I thought in real time, I'm going to die in this lousy parking lot and my last thoughts are going to about judging homeless people for having too many pets.

Then I wondered — was God getting me back for my attitude? Was I going to be like Eli who's sin finally caught up with him (Eli was a priest that allowed his sons to be pimps among other things and he fell off a chair and broke his neck - 1st Samuel 4:18)?

Jesus told us, "For in the same way you judge others, for you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I'm joking and I'm really taking that passage out of context. Praise the Lord God's not mad at us and we live in a season of great grace!

Back to my humbling, choking and near death experience. I was really hoping that these homeless gypsies were angels in disguise that would perform the Heimlich maneuver, save my life then I could confess and repent and promise God I would never look down on anyone ever again. That didn't happen, but it did all work out. I survived, and after I wiped off the special sauce from the Big Mac that was smeared across my face, I went and played my normal round of bogey golf.

I don't have a point except maybe a bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work. He told me to tell you that.


Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at